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Is use of Google Voice a taxable benefit?

Is use of Google Voice a taxable benefit?

A company is encouraging employees to make business calls whilst travelling overseas via their laptop using Google Voice (the company uses Googlemail to run their e-mail platform) rather than the company provided mobile due to differences in calling rates.

The employee needs to buy credit from Google and can then make calls to the value of the credit. The employer reimburses the expense; HMRC have queried how the employer can ensure that the reimbursement relates only to business calls. The reality is that calls are not itemised and are made on a pay as you go basis, and paid by individual employees in relation to their corporate e-mail account, but is there any scope for suggesting that this is a legitimate business expense not subject to employee/benefit in kind taxes under the circumstances (e.g. only provided for business use and any private use is likely to be insignificant)?


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29th Mar 2012 17:50

Would be better if...

.. .the company purchased the credit (either centrally or employees having company credit cards)

Then the analogy with Section 319 treatment would be clearer (mobile phone calls provided by employer are not a benefit, money paid for use of own phone is)




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